Election Leave Policy

Applies to:  Faculty (including part-time and visiting faculty), postdoctoral scholars, staff, and students (including graduate/undergraduate student workers and graduate assistants) employed by University of Southern California and its subsidiaries including Keck Medicine of USC (“USC employees”).


Issued: July 1, 2005
Last Revised: November 7, 2022
Last Reviewed: November 7, 2022                                                    

2. Policy Purpose

USC is committed to providing time-off for employees to serve as Election Day Officials or to vote in Statewide or Federal elections, without being disciplined because of their absence. USC encourages all employees to accept their civic responsibilities and is pleased to provide time-off to assist its employees. 

For the purpose of this policy, USC is making the leaves portion of this policy applicable to all employees, regardless of whether an employee lives or works in the State of California. If an employee resides in a State that provides a more generous leave, then the more generous State leave applies.

USC expects all employees, supervisors, Deans of Faculty, Department Chairs, and HR Partners to act in good faith when requesting and approving leaves of absence and time-off under this Policy. In the event USC becomes aware that actions taken do not align with the Policy, corrective and disciplinary steps may be pursued.

3. Scope and Application

USC provides time-off to all eligible employees who serve as Election Day Officials or who take time-off to vote in Statewide elections.

In the event of a discrepancy between this Policy and an employee’s collective bargaining agreement, the terms of the collective bargaining agreement will govern.

4. Definitions


5. Policy Details

Length of Leave and Pay Continuance

Election Official Leave

Employees serving as an election official may take unpaid time-off under this leave. Employees may take the time-off with pay if they utilize their accrued vacation time.

Voting Leave

If an employee does not have sufficient time outside of their normal working hours to vote in a Statewide election then the employee may take time-off, up to two (2) hours of working time, to vote without a loss of pay.

The time-off for voting shall only be at the beginning or end of the regular working shift, whichever allows the most free time for the employee to vote and a lesser amount of time-off from the regular working shift, unless otherwise mutually agreed upon between the staff employee and the employee’s supervisor, and in the case of faculty, their Dean of Faculty or Department Chair.

Employees may take additional time-off to vote, however, any time over two (2) hours will not be paid time-off provided by USC. Employees must utilize accrued vacation time after the two (2) hours of paid time-off to vote has been used.

Time-off for voting is not considered time worked for purposes of computing overtime pay for non-exempt employees.

Non-Retaliation or Discrimination Notice

USC will not take any adverse employment action against any eligible employee for requesting or taking leave as permitted under this Policy. If an employee believes an adverse employment action has been or is being taken against the employee for exercising leave rights under this Policy, the employee should contact the Office of Equity, Equal Opportunity and Title IX by phone at (213) 821-8298 or email at eeotix@usc.edu.

6. Procedures

Link to Procedures.

7. Forms


8. Responsibilities

Below is the list of the units or individuals who are responsible for aspects of the policy and their major responsibilities.

HR Service CenterSupport the employee, supervisors and Deans or Department Chairs with questions and application of the policy
Human Resources Partner (“HRP”) or Leave Administration Specialist (“LAS”)Ensures employee has the appropriate forms, if applicable, and information for understanding their personal leaveCollects the required forms, if applicable, and places the employee on the appropriate leavesManages the use of Sick Time Accruals and/or Vacation Time Accruals and/or or PTO Time Accruals and/or Winter Recess Accruals  Manages the return-to-work process
Leave Administration DepartmentRevises the policy based on changes in State and Federal legislationManages escalations received from HRP and LAS.

9. Related Information

Paid Staff Vacation
Faculty Handbook  

10. Contacts

Please direct any questions regarding this policy to:

HR Service Center(213) 821-8100uschr@usc.edu
Leave Administration Specialist (“LAS”)(213) 821-8100uschr@usc.edu
Leave Administration(213) 821-8100leaveadmin@usc.edu